Prince of Broadway Loses Lead Producer, But Show Will Go On

By Kenneth Jones
28 Apr 2012

Harold Prince
Harold Prince
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Aubrey Dan, the Canadian producer who presented touring shows in Toronto and won a Tony Award as one of the producers of the Broadway musical Memphis, told the Toronto Star that he has withdrawn as producer of the Broadway-bound musical Prince of Broadway and will stop presenting shows in Canada in the coming months.

In an exclusive interview that ran April 27 in the Star, Dan, 48, said that his company Dancap Productions is "stepping back and re-evaluating our involvement in the theatre business."

Prince of Broadway, a retrospective revue of musical numbers from the shows shepherded by multiple Tony winner Harold Prince over the past 60 years, was first announced by Dan in 2011 for a Toronto engagement that would be followed by a Broadway run. The tryout was scotched, with the producer saying in January that it was too complicated and costly to mount a pre-Broadway run, so a direct-to-Broadway course was promised.

A spokesman for the Broadway show said in a statement to Playbill.com on April 28, "The Prince of Broadway company and creative team has been informed that production on the show will continue without Dancap's involvement. Further details will follow shortly."



The show, as previously reported, is being co-directed by Prince and Susan Stroman, who previously collaborated on Show Boat and the London musical Paradise Found.

Dancap will stop presenting and producing in Canada following the end of its current Toronto subscription season and after a western Canadian tour of Jersey Boys in the fall, the Star reported.

Dancap Productions was a producer of the Broadway musical Leap of Faith, which opened on April 26 to discouraging reviews.

Over the past five years in Toronto, Dancap Productions presented or produced 25 productions, including the two-year hit Jersey Boys. Other Dancap shows flopped. Dan's major competition in Toronto is Mirvish Productions, which has the advantage of owning venues (the Princess of Wales Theatre and the Royal Alex, among others).

Dan is the son of billionaire Leslie Dan, whose fortune is in the generic drug industry.

As announced earlier this year, the cast of Prince of Broadway will include Tony Award winner Linda Lavin, Sebastian Arcelus, Sierra Boggess, Daniel Breaker, Josh Grisetti, Tony winner Shuler Hensley, Richard Kind, Amanda Kloots-Larsen, Tony winner LaChanze, Caroline O'Connor, David Pittu and Emily Skinner. Opening night will be in November at a theatre to be named.

Stroman will choreograph the show, to feature a book by Tony Award nominee David Thompson.

Prince of Broadway will celebrate one of the most successful careers in the American theatre of the past 60 years. It "will look at the circumstances and fortune, both good and bad, that led to Hal Prince creating some of the most enduring and beloved theatre of all time," according to an earlier statement.

Expect "words and music from some of the shows that have earned Hal Prince a record 21 Tony Awards." His resume includes The Pajama Game, West Side Story, Fiorello!, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Evita and The Phantom of the Opera, among others.

The creative team includes scenic designer Beowulf Boritt, Tony-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, Tony-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley and sound designer Jonathan Deans.

The production features musical supervision, incidental music, vocal and dance arrangements by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (Prince's Parade), orchestrations by Don Sebesky and musical direction by Eric Stern.

Director-choreographer Stroman's Broadway credits include The Producers, Contact, Crazy for You, Show Boat, Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein, The Frogs, The Music Man, Thou Shalt Not, Steel Pier, Big, Picnic and, most recently, The Scottsboro Boys.

Lavin won the Best Actress Tony Award for Neil Simon's Broadway Bound, and is now on Broadway in Nicky Silver's The Lyons; Arcelus was Elf in Broadway and appeared in Stroman's Lincoln Center Theater production of Happiness; Boggess has experience as Christine Daae in both The Phantom of the Opera and its sequel, Love Never Dies, and was Ariel in Broadway's The Little Mermaid; Breaker is a Tony nominee for Passing Strange and was Donkey in Shrek the Musical; Grisetti scored points in Off-Broadway's Enter Laughing, the Musical; Hensley won the Tony as the brooding Jud Fry in the Stroman-choreographed Oklahoma!, and appeared in Tarzan and Young Frankenstein; character actor Kind appeared in The Producers and TV's "Spin City"; Kloots-Larsen was in the recent Broadway Follies; LaChanze won the Best Actress Tony for The Color Purple and made a splash in Once on This Island; Australian actress O'Connor has worked on Broadway and in the West End (Chicago, for starters); Pittu received a Tony nomination for Prince's Lovemusik; and Skinner earned her Tony nomination for Side Show.